Plantar Fasciitis HURTS | Average Hiker
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
My remedy for Plantar Fasciitis was specific to me and required patience. If you ask 1,000 people how they treated their Plantar, you will get 1,000 different responses. Below is what worked for me.
I've always listened to others complain about Plantar Fasciitis, but never paid it much attention. The official SIMPLE description – “It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).” My feet have always hurt when I hiked. I expect it on every hike and have yet to be disappointed. The issue before my last hike though was that my left foot was hurting much more than it had in the past.
“The Google” – the Hunt for A Remedy
My left foot had begun hurting during normal daily walks, so I did what many people now do in those situations – I googled it. It appeared that all symptoms led to Plantar Fasciitis. I ignored it at first, thinking it would heal, and it began to not only burn, but swell up after I exercised.
Next, I googled home remedies, because everyone knows “The Google” is always right.
Over the course of the last year I tried several things to help reduce the pain. Some of them worked and some did not. Again, I think the effectiveness of certain remedies varies by person.
Were Inserts a Remedy?
In my earlier hiking years, “Superfeet” inserts were all the rage in the hiking world. Many people still swear by them. They were always too “hard” for my feet, and made them sore. I eventually just gave up on any type of insole.
On the PCT used a generic gel insert, which helped with soreness some, but I only needed them for the first month. After losing about 20 pounds, I no longer had foot pain unless road walking.
With my recent Plantar Fasciitis I decided to check out inserts again. After way too much “Googling,” I chose Protalus inserts. Reviews were good, and I liked their website. All very good reasons for choosing them (no judging).
My Protalus Inserts were as I had hoped – soft, with good arch support. I ordered a size smaller than my actual HOKA. My hope was that by extending the arch a little, I would get better support. Fortunately, this seems to have been the combination that worked for me.
Wrapping My Foot Helped
When my foot hurt the most, I tried wrapping it. Nothing I used stayed on well, and if it did stay on my foot, it also removed my skin. Eventually, after much googling, I found Nexcare Tape. Holy, Moly, I wish I had found this tape years ago! Not only is it comfortable, but it stays on my foot after hard use.
I also had to experiment with wrapping techniques. First I wrapped the tape around my arch, thinking that if I pulled the tendon up snug against my foot it would help support it. That did not make much difference. I then wrapped the tape around both my heel and arch. This seemed to offer the support I needed. The pain did not go away, but it was reduced.
HOKA Sandals are AWESOME for Plantar Fasciitis!
My HOKA ONE ONE Ora Recover Sliders were probably one of the single biggest contributors to my Plantar Fasciitis relief. They were to me by an empathetic friend. I was a little skeptical when I saw the rubber sandals, but had seen them when doing research and decided to give them a try.
They are SO COMFORTABLE!!!
My eyes widened after my first few steps. The sandals completely hugged the bottom of my entire foot. They gave me the support I had been seeking. When not outside of the house, I always work the HOKA's. I tried to sneak them to restaurants, visits, etc., but unfortunately this was frowned upon so I just wore them at home.
Seriously, if you have tired feet, sore feet, Plantar feet, just try them out. They are the most comfortable sandals I have worn.
The “Iced Golf Ball” Approach
Both icing my foot and rolling things on it were suggested, so I froze a couple of golf balls and rolled them twice a day. I'm not sure if this helped but it did feel good to gently roll the golf ball on the bottom of my foot. If anything, it was probably the cold that reduced inflammation.
Foot Stretches As a Remedy
I chose not to stretch my foot. Even before I did my research, this did not make much sense to me. If the tendon was already torn or stretched, I'm not sure why I would want to exacerbate the damage. I'm definitely not a Doctor, but it just did not make much sense to me.
If all Other Plantar Remedies Fail
Finally, as a last resort I took ibuprofen at night. Taking too much of the pain reliever made me nervous, but I talked to my Doctor and he told me it would not hurt to take it as needed, once a day. As a matter a fact, he said reducing the inflammation as part of the healing process was ideal.
Final Thoughts on a Remedy for Plantar Fasciitis
My foot has definitely improved, and it had begun to feel much better before I lost 43 pounds (yay me!), but it does have flashbacks. All in all though, I'm pretty happy with the condition of the Plantar Fasciitis right now.
When there is any pain, I find that ice and ibuprofen eliminate the symptoms effectively. I still wear my HOKA Sandals anytime I'm home, and even if I did not have Plantar Fasciitis I would still wear them. They are just that comfortable.
Ultimately though, I tell everyone the same thing. Consult your doctor before making any decisions on the best remedies for you. In my case, I consult my Doctor and my Google – and question them BOTH! 🙂